Buying on a Budget: How You Can Check Off That Gift List Without Breaking the Bank

Some of us are already struggling to keep that wallet intact as we start holiday shopping. But it’s not too late to make a budget and stick to it.

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There is such a thing as being too generous, especially during the holidays, and especially in our current climate.

People are rushing to get things for loved ones because of the supply and demand issues, and already, budgets are being thrown out the window, and before you know it - you’re in debt before the new year.  

Lauryn Williams, a certified financial planner at Worth Winning in Dallas, says tip one is easy: Don’t be duped by the deals. The catchy commercials and holiday advertising exist because they work.

“You don’t want to be the person that ends up buying 4 TVs because they’re $200 each and then you can only watch one. You don’t need 10 of them, don’t buy 10 of them, so that’s tip number one I would say,” said Williams. 

A holiday survey by the company “Affirm” revealed people started shopping early last month. Most people aren’t waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start shopping anymore, and over half agreed they feel pressured to overspend during the holidays.

“I think that online shopping is going to increase people's spending. I think the ease of being able to click the buttons. You know, we’ve had Cyber Monday for a while, but in light of the things that have happened with the pandemic, I think that it’s going to be a lot easier for people to purchase more, throw more in their basket, have extras show up. There are a lot easier ways for people to make refunds, even though people don’t actually return things. So I think it’s going to be a hike in spending,” said Williams.

How do you keep that spending under control? Williams has a few tips we can use right now:

  • Budget: Plan Ahead and set a spending limit. She says the average spending for Christmas is around $1,000, of course, that’s relative depending on your income.
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up a side hustle. A great way to meet short-term spending goals during the holidays without going into debt.
  • Value those relationships. Going through your list and seeing who’s the most important person, or the important people in your life. A good way to keep from overbuying.
  • Doing something that doesn’t cost you a dime. You can make something very thoughtful, like write a letter, or create your own greeting card. A good way to pare down your holiday spending list.

Click here for more budget and financial planning tips. Williams is offering a 12-week live online program launch for the new year.

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